All of my work is hand forged from steel using welding and fabricating techniques. All of the work on my art is done entirely by myself without the use of any casting processes. My work is unique in that I worked with steel long before I began creating steel sculpture. My skills, coupled with a degree in mechanical engineering, allow me to create sculpture that appears to defy the bounds of physics or is unique in its own right. I use equipment that most artist do not haveavailable or the expertise to use.My desire is to create art work that is appealing. Some work is intended to create a smile. While other pieces are intended to cause the viewer to walk away thinking. To me, art is about expressing and communicating. The piece comes to life when people can find their own meaning.When I create my work, I start with general steel shapes (square bar, flat stock, pipe, sheet metal, etc.). These basic shapes become the foundation for my pieces. For my detailed hand pieces I use pieces of flat stock to build up metal in the areas. These areas are then ground using a hand grinder into the rough shape. The final shaping and polishing is done using a grinder with a sand paper disk. On my contemporary pieces, I use hydraulic benders. As the pieces are bent the life of the piece takes shape. Finally, I coat the finished piece with one of several different methods. In order to preserve the steel finish, a clear polyurethane coating is used. I also can powder coat the pieces to obtain bright colors that will withstand the elements outdoors. Automotive paints can also be used to create even more unique finishes; for example, the chameleon paint actually changes colors as it is viewed from different places.My inspiration comes from my family and daily life experiences. My art has many facets, just like my life and my personality. The pieces I create evolve and change as I continue to grow and learn as an artist.I encourage you to ask any questions about my work or my sculpturing methods.
Eric Ober was found to be M.I.A. (Missing In Action) at his desk as a mechanical engineer in 1999. His wife could sense that the fire in his eyes was dimming and work was a chore. When asked what he wanted to do it was no surprise to Eric that he wanted to return to creating and working with his hands. Although Eric enjoyed working overseas designing tools for sub sea robots, he continued to dream of one day creating steel sculpture again as he did in college between playing football and studying at Rice University.Two days after telling his wife he wanted to return to welding, he handed in his resignation and returned to his first love. Eric learned to weld at thirteen, spending many summers and Saturdays working in the family welding business. Years of working with steel and parents who encouraged creativity allowed him to learn the skills needed to create the visions in his head.When asked how he comes up with ideas a smirk appears on Eric’s face. It’s not that he doesn’t want to tell people, but sometimes he is not sure himself. We all have a purpose in life and Eric’s was to create art. He is thankful for his talents and wants uses them to touch others. “The pieces make themselves and take on a life of their own,” Eric explains. As he begins bending, welding, and grinding he doesn’t always know what he has created until he stands back and looks at it. Eric’s work is very diverse and people are usually drawn to a specific style. His ability to create variety allows him to appeal to a wider audience and make a piece that suits the buyer.
Everyone, from beginning collectors to the experienced art buyer, can appreciate his work. Eric feels that the true joy in creating art is seeing someone enjoy (and buy!) a piece of his work. He has been heard saying that his wife and children are his inspiration. Others have said his best works of art are his seven beautiful children.
Eric hasn’t looked back since he left engineering, but I guess you could say he didn’t really leave. He is just using his skills for a different purpose, one that he enjoys immensely and hopes that you do too.